Kids Coяner!
Alex Peak

The Mice and the Weasels

By Æsop

There was war between the Mice and the Weasels, in which much blood was shed.  Although the Weasels were always the victors, pride and indignation prevented the Mice from ever seeking peaceful relations.  The Mice were convinced that they could win the war if they would merely maintain the resolve to stick with it.  So they called a council of war, in which an old Mouse got up and said, “It’s no wonder we are always beaten, for we have no generals to lead us and inspire us to fight harder and in a more disciplined fashion!”  The Mice concluded that they could achieve victory through cultivating a sense of national glory.

They therefore chose as leaders those Mice who were most renowned for their family descent, strength, and counsel, as well as those most noted for their courage in the fight, so that the mice might be better marshaled in battle array and formed into troops, regiments, and battalions.  When all this was done, and the army disciplined, and the herald Mouse had duly proclaimed war by challenging the Weasels, the newly chosen generals bound their heads with feathers or straw, that they might be more conspicuous to all their troops.

Scarcely had the battle begun, when a great rout overwhelmed the Mice, who scampered off as fast as they could to their holes.  The generals, not being as mobile under the weight of the unweildy ornaments on their heads, were all captured and eaten by the Weasels.


The moral of this story is, be not preoccupied with national glory.

The mice in this story were so concerned with the silly notion of national pride that they they began acting irrationally.  The result of these irrational actions was that that the mice got gobbled up all the quicker—certainly not what they wanted to happen.  This is what economists call “unintended consequences.”

Click here to return to the Kids Coяner.